I am browsing CVs of some new AP who graduated this or last year and take on an AP as their first position in a prestigious EU university. I surprisingly find that none of them have successfully published a journal article when they were on the job market and till now the average publication record of them is one article in a Q2 journal. And I know some PhDs with one to two publications in a Q2/Q3 journal didn't find a tenure and so did a postdoc after graduation and even then they obtained a faculty position, the universities they join are not as good as the former group. Neither of them graduated from a university that is apparently superior to the one where they get professorship, nor a huge difference in the academic background of both groups can be found based on my observation of their CVs (I mean, ranking of the Univ in the field of economics, conference attendance, research field, language and programming skills, etc). To note, the field I talk here is Economics. I am indeed confused. Why? Does it mean in social science, publication is not that important?

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    Are these permanent positions or fixed term positions? Are you sure this isn't a situation where certain "postdoc"-like positions at that particular university have unusual titles? Nov 24, 2020 at 1:12
  • This is a question where any answer would be very dependent on the particular field of study. Nov 24, 2020 at 1:14
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    Another natural possibility is that they’re in a subdiscipline where the primary scholarly output is books and not journal articles. Nov 24, 2020 at 1:25
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    Another natural possibility is that this is a discipline and a country where people's suitability for positions is judged primarily on the quality of their dissertation, which need not appear in a journal (or may not yet have appeared in a journal). Nov 24, 2020 at 1:37
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    Economics graduates are typically hired on the strength of their “job market paper” in the US. A publication from your “second year paper” or something co-authored is considered a bonus.
    – Dawn
    Nov 24, 2020 at 3:58

1 Answer 1


TIAA-CREF has published an excellent article regarding The Changing Faculty Workforce Models by Adrianna Kezar of the University of Southern California. and can be found at the following URL: www.tiaa-crefinstitute.org

In a nutshell, the document details changes in academia resulting from several external influences that have impacted the traditional faculty model and essentially reducing the tenured faculty to just about 30% of the total faculty employed at US institutions of higher education. On top of that publishing as the key academic initiative for tenure, evaluation has changed as well. As one other pointed out books are one such alternative as are presentations, teaching, service work, and many others too numerous to mention here.

The result for those wanting to make academia a career, the days of tenured professors, earned through publication to certain journals are on the way out. I have seen this myself in over 20 years working as a professor with a Ph.D. In the face of increased accountability, governments are starting to gauge the number of graduates who find employment making them more accountable for the money they receive, this trend will continue to change the traditional academic institution and its faculty.

  • Food for thought. Thank you! Nov 24, 2020 at 7:22

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